Where to even start?
Okay, I’m 20 years old and feel like I have nothing to show for all the years I’ve been living.
I’m going nowhere in school, deen, the social spectrum, etc. I’m really conflicted. I try to make things better for myself. I try reading Quran daily, but it never comes together for me. I tried listening to lectures, but they don’t ever affect me. I tried getting good grades, and studying hard but I suck in school. And I’ve tried applying for part time jobs, but nothing comes up. I don’t even have my license as of yet. It’s sad and embarrassing. My whole life feels like a sad joke.
“When am I gonna get it together”, I ask myself?
When will things begin to look up for me?
I don’t know what do with myself. I’m depressed, lonely, and sad all the time. I’d like to get married to but I don’t see that happening because I’ve got to finish school first, and no one’s really been asking for my hand.
My life is crappy, and I don’t know what to do. I feel like ending it, but know the consequence of that. I feel like everyone else around me has it together, and is happy. BUT me.
Trying to Get it Together
I’m so glad that you reached out and asked for help. It’s natural to feel a bit lost, confused and overwhelmed in your early 20s. These are the years of introspection, confusion & a lot of frustration. I know that you feel like everything is falling apart around you. Don’t be discouraged for not achieving your goals-you are still very young. I had classmates who were 65 in the master’s program who were starting a new career! Just remember that the past does not equal the present. Just because you were not succeeding in the past doesn’t mean you will always be that way. Here are some pointers that will put you on the right track insha’Allah.
- Be aware of your self-talk – this is the internal dialogue that you have with yourself which is about 600 words a minute and usually 85% negative. Stop saying so many negative things about yourself so that you can build the confidence to achieve your goals. Only say things that will assist you and make you feel good about yourself. There is no use in beating yourself up. Please read my article on Muslim Matters on Being at Peace with Yourself where I go into more details about this subject.
- Ask empowering questions – so that your mind will search for answers. When you ask disempowering questions like: Why do bad things happen to me? Why me? You start feeling depressed and discouraged. Ask powerful questions:
- What is good about my situation?
- What can I learn from this?
- How can I make my life better?
- What am I grateful for?
- Surround yourself with righteous friends – these friends will lift your spirit and provide you with support . It sounds like you are experiencing some depression so it is vital that you get help from family and friends. Don’t withdraw and feel sorry for yourself. Reach out and get Help! Your friends can help assist you in your school work and possibly in finding the right job. If you feel the depression is severe get help from a professional.
- Don’t compare yourself to others – you have no idea what battles they may be fighting.
Each time you compare, you are left feeling unhappy and anxious, depriving yourself from being aware of all the wonderful things in your life.
And He has raised you in ranks, some above others that He may test you in that which He has bestowed on you. Surat Al-An’am 6:165
Look not with your eyes ambitiously at what We have bestowed on certain classes, nor grieve over them. Surat Al-Hijr 15:88
Narrated by Abu Hurairah the Prophet said, “Do not wish to be like anyone except two men: A man whom Allāh has taught the Qurʾān and he recites it during the day and night and a man whom Allāh has given wealth and he spends it on charity.”
Another permissible comparison is looking at people who are much worse off than us in wealth and health. By doing this you can instantly feel grateful and pacified.
- Set small attainable goals- don’t get overwhelmed For instance, in order to get your license break down the task into small actions: get driver’s education book, study it, sign up for the class, take the class, sign up for the test , pass the test & then celebrate! If you break down your task it will be much easier for you to attain them without feeling overwhelmed.
- Put your trust in Allah & Trust His plan – things may not be happening at the rate that you would like, but there is wisdom in everything that is happening. Trust the Master plan and keep your connection strong through prayer. It may be more helpful to attend classes to strengthen your iman rather than just listening to lectures or reading Quran alone. There is definitely strength in number.